This Simple, 9-Week Program Could Stop Neck Pain

By on May 20, 2015
Got neck pain? Don’t worry about it: Try yoga instead.

But why? As it turns out, research appearing in the Journal of Pain reveals yoga helped significantly reduce neck pain in people suffering from chronic neck pain. Those who opted for other methods, however, such as exercise, did not experience these benefits.

While the research is preliminary, the results thus far look promising to researchers.

“Yoga has been found effective in the treatment of chronic low back pain,” write researchers in the online version of the Journal of Pain. “We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of Iyengar yoga in chronic neck pain by means of a randomized clinical trial. The effectiveness of yoga in chronic neck pain should be further tested by comparative effectiveness studies with longer observation periods. This article presents the results of a randomized controlled trial on the clinical effects of a 9-week yoga program or self-care exercise in patients with chronic neck pain.”

Working out of the Charite-University Medical Center in Berlin, researchers recruited 77 patients diagnosed with chronic neck pain who were unsuccessful at managing it. 39 of them were assigned to an exercise group designed to lessen neck pain. The other participants, however, were assigned to a yoga group, practicing a type of yoga called iyengar yoga. Previous research showed this type of yoga helped reduce low back pain, leading researchers to believe it could also help improve neck pain.

Researchers asked them to continue both practices for a total of 9 weeks, evaluating them after the testing period as over.

When the 9 week period ended, they found something remarkable: Yoga made a significant difference in their neck pain.

“Significant treatment effects of yoga were also found for pain-related apprehension, disability, QOL [quality of life], and psychological outcomes,” write researchers. “In this preliminary trial, yoga appears to be an effective treatment in chronic neck pain with possible additional effects on psychological well-being and QOL [quality of life]. Yoga led to superior pain relief and functional improvements and might be a useful treatment option for chronic neck pain.”

While the reason why this type of yoga helps reduce neck pain hasn’t been analyzed, the results are still encouraging to researchers. They now say it could be a potential treatment for chronic neck pain in the future–something that should delight those dealing with chronic pain.

“Lyengar [sic] yoga can be a safe and effective treatment option for chronic neck pain,” write researchers. “Yoga might enhance both the toning of muscles and releasing of muscle tension. Relaxation responses, therefore, could reduce stress related muscle tension and modify neurobiological pain perception.”

What This Means For You

Neck pain can be a horrible ordeal–but now you no longer have to suffer. To lessen your pain, practice iyengar yoga on a weekly basis; research shows that it could help out in a big way.

Readers: How do you deal with neck pain?

Yoga Shown Effective for Treating Chronic Neck
Yoga for Chronic Neck Pain: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (Study)

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